Shoplifting suspect strikes police cruiser in getaway attempt

Mugshot courtesy of Coventry PD

COVENTRY, R.I. (WPRI) — As the saying goes – never return to the scene of the crime.

Coventry police were called to the 24-hour Walmart on Centre of New England Boulevard just before 11 p.m. Thursday. It was reported that a vehicle wanted in connection with a shoplifting incident earlier in the day was back in the parking lot.

Michael Lunsmann, 36, of Warwick, is accused of stealing a 28″ television from the store at about 2:50 a.m.

The first officer on scene spotted Lunsmann’s vehicle heading towards the plaza’s exit, so a second officer stopped near the exit and tried to flag him down. Police said Lunsmann continued driving towards the officer, despite him pulling his sidearm and yelling orders to stop. The suspect made it past the officer and continued on to New London Turnpike.

According to police, the first officer gave pursuit, eventually pulling in front of Lunsmann in an attempt to box him in. Lunsmann accelerated, striking the police cruiser as the second officer pulled in behind – making it unable for the suspect to move his vehicle.

Officers drew their guns and approached Lunsmann, placed him in handcuffs, and put him in the back of a cruiser. While in there, police said he tried to kick out the windows in an unsuccessful attempt to break free.

Police said a glass pipe with cocaine residue was found inside his vehicle.

Lunsmann was taken to Kent County Courthouse Friday morning to be arraigned on charges of felony assault with a dangerous weapon, possession of cocaine, felony shoplifting, resisting arrest, and operating with a suspended license. Police said the shoplifting was a felony due to prior convictions, and added that Lunsmann was also wanted on several previous court warrants.

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